Always disappointing my sponsor

Most of us who recovered with AA's program did so with the help of a "sponsor". But what is sponsorship? How do I get one? Who can be a sponsor? What makes a good sponsor?

Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Postby D'oh » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:34 am

Hi Raven, I hope today is going better,

I can't help but to ask, And the answer needs to go no further than to yourself and maybe your Sponsor.

The Big Book explains, having completed our inventories, we return home, Carefully reviewing the first 5 proposals, Have we missed anything?

That baffled me my first go around of the 5th step and moving on to the 6th and 7th. Not that I had missed anything, but more that I was willing to be who He wanted me to be.

It wound up, that I had to ask for the Willingness. It wasn't granted right away.
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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Postby ezdzit247 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:13 am

Ravensgrl wrote:I am a little taken aback by the higher power response to me wanting to go to seek therapy. Someone seeking professional help should not be told to pray about it instead. You're prob the kind of AA that says we shouldn't take antidepressants in AA. That kind of advice gets people killed.


Hi Raven

I suggested you seek guidance and direction from your higher power on your question regarding what to do about your sponsor. My ESH is that the 3rd Step and the Serenity Prayer are two of the most effective tools in AA's spiritual tool kit for dealing with problems like this, but that they don't work for me unless I work them.

You didn't ask for advice about seeking therapy and I didn't offer any. If you had asked, I would have responded by sharing my own ESH on therapy, i.e. that I saw a licensed clinical psychologist in weekly one-on-one therapy sessions for two years prior to seeking help from AA and highly recommend transactional analysis as very beneficial for anyone with a drinking problem. I only recommend licensed clinical psychologists for alcoholics. I never recommend either psychiatrists or MFC's or behavioral therapists for alcoholics because, according to my knowledge, none of these other professional licenses require the licensee to complete two years of personal analysis with a therapist themselves before they begin treating clients. In my personal opinion, alcoholics need the kind of therapist who has already confronted their own issues, and the games they play, before they can help any alcoholic confront theirs.

Regarding any and all prescription medications, I'm "the kind of AA" who says listen to your doctor and follow his/her treatment plan and don't listen to anyone in AA or elsewhere who tries to play doctor.

Keep coming back....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Postby Spirit Flower » Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:26 am

Ravensgrl wrote:I am a little taken aback by the higher power response to me wanting to go to seek therapy. Someone seeking professional help should not be told to pray about it instead. You're prob the kind of AA that says we shouldn't take antidepressants in AA. That kind of advice gets people killed.

I think EZ was saying to pray for guidance. Maybe therapy is right, maybe dropping this sponsor, maybe getting another sponsor, maybe something else. But, This is how we receive intuitive guidance. And you didn't mention therapy in the place where EZ replied. Listen quietly in meditation. The right answer will come.

My first sponsor started treating me oddly and then dropped me at some point and was also very upset about that. But, I just went on with my sobriety.
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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Postby Ravensgrl » Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:45 pm

EZ I owe you an apology. I assumed you were saying one thing when in fact you were saying something completely different. I am really sorry.

The thing is I did ask for guidance from my higher power and an amazing thing happened. I couldn't stop analyzing my situation. I was also dealing with day 4 of a migraine. I couldn't sleep last night because of my headache and my overactive brain. I told myself that if I woke up with a headache again, then I would call out of work and go to the doctor. When I woke this morning, my headache was gone. I had prob the closest to a conversation with God that I've ever had. It was like he said 'I took away your headache, so go to work, take care of people (I'm a nurse) and then come home and take care of yourself. You don't have to feel guilty, you're doing fine.' It was quite nice.

I think I will stop working with my sponsor. I am incredibly emotional about this decision, but I just cant build my recovery around what she wants. I will end up feeling resentful and guilty and she will feel like she's not helping me. And I want my friend back, I don't think she can be both. Thank you all for helping me come to a decision.
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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Postby ezdzit247 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:28 pm

Ravensgrl wrote:EZ I owe you an apology. I assumed you were saying one thing when in fact you were saying something completely different. I am really sorry.

The thing is I did ask for guidance from my higher power and an amazing thing happened. I couldn't stop analyzing my situation. I was also dealing with day 4 of a migraine. I couldn't sleep last night because of my headache and my overactive brain. I told myself that if I woke up with a headache again, then I would call out of work and go to the doctor. When I woke this morning, my headache was gone. I had prob the closest to a conversation with God that I've ever had. It was like he said 'I took away your headache, so go to work, take care of people (I'm a nurse) and then come home and take care of yourself. You don't have to feel guilty, you're doing fine.' It was quite nice.

I think I will stop working with my sponsor. I am incredibly emotional about this decision, but I just cant build my recovery around what she wants. I will end up feeling resentful and guilty and she will feel like she's not helping me. And I want my friend back, I don't think she can be both. Thank you all for helping me come to a decision.


Da nada.

Thank you for sharing your experience, hope and strength with "turning it over". I love it!

I agree with your higher power. You're doing fine..... :wink:

Keep coming back.....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Postby positrac » Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:43 am

Ravensgrl wrote:I am pleased with the sit downs and readings but they happen very rarely, like maybe once a month. I am at home in bed nursing a migraine right now, didn't go to a meeting, didn't call her because I didn't want to hear that I should go to a meeting even when I don't want to. I feel guilty which as a recovering Catholic/alcoholic I am all too familiar with.


In time if you decide to stick around and you start seeing that we aren't the aggressors, but the ones with experience at our different levels of sobriety and time sober you might throttle back on being so defensive.

I called some stuff out on you because you have an excuse for everything and you have to wake up to you each day. Misery is optional and my points were to try to either embrace change and or go back to what didn't work in your past.

As a reminder you came to this site asking and expressing concerns if you recall? It is one day at a time for a reason and this has nothing to do with race, gender, age and or anything thing else because addiction can't see those things about us.

Now about you disappointing your sponsor and these are two points:
1. You are in the right place
2. You are trying to people please.

if you don't like your sponsor then find another women who meets your needs and go that way. But maybe you need structure and your current sponsor is teaching you how to live life on it's terms and not your terms.

I am trying to provide the olive branch to you and I suggest you work on getting thicker skin because character defects will drive you nuts if you don't.

If you blocked me this is ok because someone might quote this and you'll have to read my points.

be well.
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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Postby Ravensgrl » Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:50 am

Positrac, I am not going to block you. When I decided to post to an open forum I have to be ready to hear things I don't like. This question wasn't about whether I like my sponsor, I already know the answer to that. I like her a whole lot, I'm just not sure if the sponsor relationship is benefiting either one of us. I want to go back to being friends with her. I posted on here, because I've never had a sponsor before this and I wasn't sure what kind of role they were supposed to take. And actually I think her approach would work with a lot of people, I just don't think it's working with me. You're right on a couple of things, I do get defensive and I people please both of which I'm working on. But to say I'm making excuses is a little unfair. I'm using this forum to work through a problem.
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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Postby positrac » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:03 am

Ravensgrl wrote:Positrac, I am not going to block you. When I decided to post to an open forum I have to be ready to hear things I don't like. This question wasn't about whether I like my sponsor, I already know the answer to that. I like her a whole lot, I'm just not sure if the sponsor relationship is benefiting either one of us. I want to go back to being friends with her. I posted on here, because I've never had a sponsor before this and I wasn't sure what kind of role they were supposed to take. And actually I think her approach would work with a lot of people, I just don't think it's working with me. You're right on a couple of things, I do get defensive and I people please both of which I'm working on. But to say I'm making excuses is a little unfair. I'm using this forum to work through a problem.



We all have to approach the day in many different ways and for me I have witnessed a lot of people wanting to scam through life and in the rooms and it doesn't work. What I can say is something is not jiving here and time will be the teller because growth will happen to you and I hope you will actually accept the challenge. You will bloom into a larger than life lady and it will because things have changed for the better and that I know to be true as it happens to us all in time...... So keep the faith and you'll be amazed before you know it.

This forum has helped me as well and for that I am grateful and it is merely a tool of suggestions and -----> opinions <----- that reminder was for me as well..... :oops:
When I post stuff it is not to pick on you because I can! Sometimes you need to hear a view that is not to your liking and you can go and chew on it for a while and see if it fits. I hate making amends and I also hate BSing for the sake of being PC.
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Postby Spirit Flower » Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:27 am

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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Postby D'oh » Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:37 pm

I posted on here, because I've never had a sponsor before this and I wasn't sure what kind of role they were supposed to take. And actually I think her approach would work with a lot of people, I just don't think it's working with me.


You have mentioned that you have made it to the 6th step together. Is that correct?

In going that far, you have passed the 3rd step correct?

I can count "I" 6 times in these 2 sentences. These are the kind of things that we must look at daily in the 10 and 11th step. HOW about just Honesty, Open Mindedness, and Willingness. Just continue through the steps together that way.

No where does it say "We only go through the steps once" Maybe sometime in the future, the Light will come on and say "That's what she meant" or the exact opposite while you are helping someone through the steps, things not to do.

All that I am saying is Something has brought you this far, who is to know what the answer yet, when we may have yet to hear the question.
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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Postby positrac » Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:21 am

I can understand some pushback from her and some indecisive remarks about being alcoholic which are normal. Honestly no one can have it both ways because it is not meant to be and damage control is good although if not fixed it only comes back again in failure and much worse. What I mean is drink and also mentally play AA because they just don't mix. I am not accusing you of this but if you walk then you've mentally made up your mind that going back to the drink is better than not drinking and looking at yourself without any protection (alcohol)

Step six is promising and yet I could almost say you might still be questioning why me? Yep why me and ya know I am glad I am an alcoholic because at least I know were I stand in life. I would also ask that if your sponsor, people you may know in the rooms are possibly saying the same things to you in a roundabout way in person then maybe they are on to something. If not then I know I am picking at you and honestly this was never my intent except to bluntly say Hey Houston something ain't right......!

Fighting as I mentioned in my PM to you is ok although at some point I either had to submit and or go down swinging and honestly I got tired of trying to beat city hall. See people I saw were changing in they way they walked and the twinkle in the eyes and I wanted that and so I accepted and I still pushed back for a while because I hated to have people in my space. But in order for the miracles to happen I had to trust them and take their suggestions even when it didn't agree to my ways of thinking.

I needed to learn to listen at what was being said to me and not at me so I could learn to change and work on my character defects.
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Postby Brock » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:58 am

...she told me she would from now on point out my character defects when they started to surface to help me. This kinda rubbed me the wrong way.

I know how you feel about this, and others seem to be saying it's part of the process, and you shouldn't be pushing back or something like that, and you need to listen to what others are saying to change these defects. This sort of thing rubs me the wrong way as well, and I believe very strongly that treating everyone with this one size fits all approach does great damage.

We see clear instructions in the book about things like resentment and ego, selfishness and so forth, at step 10 it tells us - “We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime. Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them.” After #5 it said, “The feeling that the drink problem has disappeared will often come strongly. We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.” To me it's here the spiritual development really starts, then in 6 it asks if we are willing to have things removed that WE consider objectionable, not things other people think are objectionable.

No doubt there are some who need to have things pointed out, just as there are people who can read and understand what is required, and as instructed throughout the day watch ourselves. At night we review, and if we messed up a little we ask for guidance to do better, but we arn't hard on ourselves, progress not perfection and so on.

There is a revived thread here headed “Lawyer Meetings,” it's about people being invited to attend a certain group, the whole idea leaves a bad taste in the mouth, AA was designed to be all inclusive, but I have seen evidence of why this sort of thing happens. A lady joined our home group, the wife of a prominent government minister, who herself is qualified both as a medical doctor and a lawyer. After a while she asked myself and a few others to join what she called a 'professional persons group' she wanted to start, we talked her out of that but she stopped coming to AA meetings completely, a lady at my home group says herself and some other ladies stay in touch and visit her, so she is going quite well. This is not some stuck up person who feels she is better than anyone else, she is quite humble, but it is the behavior of certain members which run people like her off.

Some people need more advise and help than others, if we are changing a flat and someone offers help, a simple 'thanks but I’ve got this' is well accepted, the person smiles and move on. Say that in AA and they start talking about how you haven't learned humility, not willing to go to any lengths and so forth, I know because that happened to me, and some were betting I wouldn't make it. Offering advise is great, but unsolicited advise and comments about what we are doing wrong can chase people.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Postby whipping post » Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:23 am

It specifically says in the AA sponsorship pamphlet that a sponsor "• Never takes the newcomer’s inventory except
when asked.". Straight copy and paste. It has been linked in this thread twice.
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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Postby Reborn » Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:24 am

My sponsor-sponsee relationship with my sponsor pretty much ended after step 9. Don't get me wrong he's still my sponsor and we are great friends today but when I completed my 9th step he said "Now its time to live the program...get out there and carry the message"...and he cut me loose. I still bounce things off of him and other AA members who have more experience living sober than I do...but this whole process is about tapping that power greater than myself and having a kick ass sober life. While I was working the first 9 steps my sponsor hurt my feelings alot...He didn't put up with any of my BS...when I complained and whined about the actions I was taking he would cut me off...he would say "go and try it your way and let me know how that works for you"...then he would hang up or walk away. As I look back he was forcing me to tap the inner resource...my Higher Power...because the answers must come from within (page 98)..Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house. He was humble enough to let me fail...he was not my friend in the beginning...he was my sponsor. While I don't agree with folks pointing out character defects(that is between you and God)...you have to ask yourself if your decision to drop your sponsor EGO driven...or is it an intuitive thought from you Higher Power. I know that my old thinking was to cut and run when things weren't going my way.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Postby Ravensgrl » Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:25 pm

Thanks everyone for helping me work this out. It actually ended up working out really well. I talked to my sponsor. We were both feeling the same way. She said our relationship did change about a month ago when she started asking her sponsor for advice. That was about the time she started telling me to go to more meetings, call more people, etc. That was when her suggestions turned more into this is what I need you to do. And when I didn't always do those suggestions, she felt like she needed to work with someone who would. She felt like she wasn't doing enough as a sponsor. i told her that I needed to do it for myself and I wouldn't be able to do it for her. So, we decided to part ways as sponsor and sponsee and go back to being friends. We made a plan to go to a meeting tomorrow to listen to a friend of ours chair. I believe it is my intuition telling me to go down this path, I don't believe it is my ego. I feel like if we continued in the sponsor relationship for too long, we would both have resentments and it would be harder to continue as friends.
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